By Johannes Hangula
THE Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), John Mutorwa on Wednesday visited the Teufelsbach farm on invitation of the Ohlthaver & List Group’s subsidiaries, Namibia Breweries Limited and Organic Energy Solutions to be officially introduced to O&L Energy’s latest innovation that converts invader bush to energy.
In light of its vision metric of reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent by the year 2019, the O&L through its subsidiary O&L Energy officially introduced its bush-thinning project which will not only eventually replace 80 percent of the current 3600 tonnes of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) used by NBL at its operating plant in Windhoek, but will also benefit the country’s agricultural sector at large.
Mutorwa and the director of forestry, Joseph Hailwa, witnessed the process of bush-thinning from the harvesting to the chipping of unwanted bushes in the area. This project conducted and managed by Organic Energy Solutions, another unit of O&L Energy, will see the problematic bush encroachment removed for the generation of energy.
Speaking at the event, Mutorwa stressed on the importance of public-private-partnerships, and commended O&L for the breakthrough initiative of the bush-to-energy project. “On behalf of Government I would like to congratulate O&L and its subsidiaries O&L Energy and NBL on this wonderful initiative. Namibia has a lot of breakthrough opportunities when it comes to especially energy generation. Whatever it is we can do, we must do, in order to ensure that this country moves forward and not backwards. I am excited about what is happening here. This project is a perfect example of the level of thinking, combined with private-public-partnerships that will take us forward”.
Organic Energy Solutions director, Eike Krafft said, “Bush encroachment is a huge problem in Namibia, with about 30 million hectares of land invaded by unwanted bush. This makes it difficult for animal feed to grow, for cattle movement, and ultimately diverts into a big problem for local farmers. However, on the flip side, this largely unwanted bush represents an energy source that is not utilised in Namibia. So basically we are turning a problem into an opportunity, and in turn finding energy solutions for the country. We take the bush and turn it into something usable and produce industrial products.”
According to Krafft, the energy generated with the harvested invader bush at Teufelsbach eventually ends up in the recently purchased and installed N$50 million bio-mass boiler at NBL which is used to generate heat energy as opposed to HFO used over the years. NBL is also Organic Energy Solutions’ main customer at the moment, with tons of woodchips delivered daily to the NBL plant in Windhoek for the operation of its bio-mass boiler. The boiler forms part of NBL’s strategy in reducing its carbon footprint.
NBL Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen said: “I am very impressed with what I see here … this is breakthrough – an opportunity that will benefit not only NBL, but the whole country at large.”
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